331. Good and evil cannot exist together, and so far as evil is put away good is regarded and felt as good, for the reason that there exhales from everyone in the spiritual world a sphere of his love which spreads itself round about and affects, and causes sympathies and antipathies. By these spheres the good are separated from the evil. That evil must be put away before good can be recognized, perceived, and loved, may be compared to many things in the natural world; for example: one cannot visit another who keeps a leopard and a panther shut up in his chamber (himself living safely with them because he feeds them), until those wild beasts have been removed.  Who that is invited to the table of a king and queen does not before he goes wash his hands and face? Or who enters the bridal chamber with his bride after marriage before he has washed himself wholly, and clothed himself with wedding garments? Who does not purify ores by fire, and separate the dross, before he obtains the pure gold and silver? Who does not separate the tares from the wheat before putting it into his granary? Who does not thresh the bearded chaff from his barley, before he gathers it into his house?  Who does not skim off raw meat in cooking before it becomes eatable and placed upon the table? Who does not beat the worms from the leaves of the trees in his garden, lest the leaves be devoured and the fruit thereby destroyed? Who does not dislike dirt in his chambers and halls, and cleanse them, especially when a prince or the espoused daughter of a prince is expected to arrive? Who loves and wishes to marry a maiden who is full of disease, and covered with pimples and blotches, however she may paint her face, dress splendidly, and labor by the charms of her conversation to move him by the enticements of love?
 Man himself ought to purify himself from evils, and not wait for the Lord to do this without his cooperation. Otherwise he would be like a servant going to his master, with his face and clothes befouled with soot and dung, and saying, "Master, wash me." Would not his master say to him, "You foolish servant, what are you saying? See, there are water, soap, and a towel; have you not hands of your own and the power to use them? Wash yourself." So will the Lord God say, "These means of purification are from Me, and your ability to will and do are also from Me; therefore use these My gifts end endowments as your own, and you will be purified;" and so on. That the external man is to be cleansed, but by means of the internal the Lord teaches in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew from beginning to end.